Box Office Happenings and More Info on the Hobbit

The third film in the upcoming “Hobbit” movie trilogy will be released worldwide in July 2014, the movie studios behind the venture said on Friday, and the second film now has a new name. The third film –“The Hobbit: There and Back Again” –will open in movie theaters on July 18, 2014 -just seven months after the newly titled second film “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” arrives on December 13, 2013. The second film originally carried the “There and Back Again” title.

The first film, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” starring British actor Martin Freeman (Stars as Dr. Watson in Sherlock, the TV series) as Bilbo Baggins, has already been set for a December 14, 2012 opening. Director Peter Jackson, Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema, and MGM announced in July that the 3D-film adaptation of the classic novel by J.R.R. Tolkien would be split into three films rather than the two originally envisaged.

Supernatural thriller “The Possession” ranked No. 1 on U.S. and Canadian box office charts on Sunday, dethroning two-time champ “Expendables 2” and setting up for a likely win over the long U.S. holiday weekend. “Possession” pulled in $17.7 million in North American ticket sales from Friday through Sunday and was expected to reach $21.3 million on Monday, according to studio estimates compiled by Reuters. Crime drama “Lawless” finished in second place, and “Expendables 2″ took the No. 3 slot.

Possession” is a horror film inspired by a newspaper account of a family that fights a demon known as a Dibbuk in ancient Yiddish folklore. The spirit resides in a Dibbuk box and is said to possesses people’s bodies with the intention of devouring them. 

Another new film, “Lawless,” nabbed $9.6 million at North American (U.S. and Canadian) theaters over the weekend. The movie stars Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke and Tom Hardy as bootlegging brothers in Prohibition-era Virginia.

Culled from Reuters

Warner Bros.’ superhero pic becomes only the 13th pic in history to hit that number. Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is a billion dollar baby. From Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, the superhero tentpole has now grossed $431.2 million domestically and an estimated $574 million internationally for a total $1.005 billion through Sunday. That’s slightly ahead of The Dark Knight, which topped out at $1.0003 billion worldwide in 2008. The big difference –Dark Knight Rises has done more business overseas, and less domestically, than Dark Knight, which grossed $533 million in North America and $469.7 million internationally. Many believe that Dark Knight Rises has left some money on the table in the U.S. because of the Aurora theater shootings during a midnight screening of the film on July 20. Nevertheless, the movie is enormously successful and becomes only the 13th film in history to reach $1 billion.

Culled from Hollywood Reporter

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